Paris has long been a favored destination with LGBTQ+ travelers. Now, as the world reopens to travel, France’s capital is poised to attract a surge of globetrotters.
“Paris is so eager to welcome international tourists back to the city,” said Clark Massad, vice president of global partnerships, International LGBTQ+ Travel Association. “The cafés and terrasses are open, museums have just reopened, restaurants and cinemas will be opening soon, and the weather is gorgeous.”
Massad praised the city’s vibrant and welcoming ambience. “The gay neighborhood, known locally as the Marais, is awash with rainbow crosswalks and rainbow flags flying high above businesses that welcome the LGBTQ+ community,” he noted.
Paris isn’t resting on its legendary laurels, Massad added; the city continues to improve its offerings for LGBTQ+ travelers and residents alike. “In 2017 I was invited to participate in a report authored by Deputy Mayor Romero-Michel outlining more than 50 ways the city could improve its image as LGBTQ+ welcoming. I’m happy to say that many of those recommendations have been made realities and that at the June City Council Meeting, Paris [was to] be designated an LGBTQ+ Freedom Zone, further underscoring the equality and rights of LGBTQ+ people in the capital.”
Like many cities, Paris may seem a bit different after months of lockdown. But that may not be a bad thing, according to Bryan Pirolli, owner, The Gay Locals, a private walking tour company that offers cultural and historical tours of the Marais and Montmartre districts, among others. “I think for travelers it will be markedly better,” he said. “Timed entries for museums will make cultural excursions less crowded. Cafés that took over parking spaces means there will be even more outdoor dining and drinking.”
“The Marais district — the so-called ‘gayborhood’ — is thriving again, with its streets full of revelers, so there will be a good amount of fun to be had, even if some of the indoor clubs and saunas seem a little too much for COVID-wary travelers,” Pirolli added.
To make it easier to enjoy the city, the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau website maintains an LGBTQ+ section with detailed information and travel tips.
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PHOTO: © ADRIAN OLSTAD
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